Saturday 5 February 2011

Bali, Indonesia Trip Report

After a disastrous poker trip to Melbourne for the Aussie Millions I took a direct flight to Bali to relax for 4 days.

I was going to book a hotel in a quiet part of the island but I had a friend who was staying in the party town of Kuta, so I decided to stay there. I stayed at the Discovery Kartika Resort which was very luxurious, and so it should be for $200 USD per night. That kind of money goes a long way in Indonesia!

One of the best features about my room was that it had a popcorn media player attached to the TV, with hundreds of new movies and tv shows on the hard drive available to watch for free. What an awesome thing to have, and really makes staying there so much better.

Why have I never seen this in any other hotel? Well, because they are too concerned with getting $14.99 from people who occasionally want to watch a pay-per-view movie, than with making their guest's stay as pleasant as possible. I'd rather just pay a higher price for the room and relax and not have to think about money during my stay.

My first day was spent doing the full spa package at the hotel. The body massage, head massage, body scrub, aromatherapy and even a manicure, LOL. The girls who worked at the spa were all young and hot, and looked after me well. I left there feeling like a million bucks.

Next day I went to Waterbom Water Park which was just across the road from my resort. I had a great time there. They have tons of good rides and you can load up money onto a wristband before going in, and get massages and food and drink around the different pool area, so good!

My friend Henrik that I met at UKIPT Galway in Ireland last year was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel with 3 of his Swedish friends and they invited me to go party with them one night. We first ate a delicious dinner at the Hard Rock, and then went to visit a hostel were about 12 other Swedes were staying. We were drinking and having a laugh beside the pool and in one of the rooms. These guys and girls were all paying like 10 bucks a room, between 3 of them, at this hostel. It looked decent enough for the money they were paying but not somewhere I'd want to stay on a vacation.

We all went out in a big group to go party at the nightclubs on Legian Street and stopped off at a lot of little small bars along the way. The heat and humidity was killing me so I just wanted to go to a proper bar with air-conditioning, as it's not much fun trying to party fully clothed in a sauna! When we did get to the big bars and clubs I had a great time, and we stayed out til around 5am.

An hilarious thing we witnessed was a crazy woman who was going nuts at cars that were going past. Of course I took out my phone and started filming her.

On our way back one of the Swedes insulted a group of ladyboys and got absolutely bitch slapped. It was the funniest thing I've ever seen. Really wish I was filming when it happened. We stopped off at the hostel and there was a whole load of drama as we seen some guy through his girlfriends suitcase into the pool with all her clothes, ipod, etc. One of the Swedes wanted to beat the guy up and the rest of us helped get the clothes out of the pool and laid them out to dry.

I didn't get back to my hotel until 6am, and barely had any rest before going on a full day road trip to Ubud. I booked a private tour with driver and guide, so I could tell them where to take me and decide for myself how long I wanted to stay in each place. We stopped off in lots of little village areas along the way and there were shops selling clothes and silver that had demonstrations on how they were made. So I watched the demonstrations for free, then didn't buy any of their overpriced crap :-)

The journey home it started lashing down with rain and I thought we were going to need to swap the car for a boat!

While we were in Ubud the highlight for me was the visit to the Monkey forest. I stayed there for ages feeding and playing with the little monkeys. The forest is a sacred religious area with 340 macaque monkeys and a temple. Well worth a visit!

I didn't do anything else interesting in Bali, just got massages and relaxed on the beach. Very un-interesting but very enjoyable :-)

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